Understanding Newborn Needs: Sleep Feeds And Play
Most newborns spend most of their time asleep they sleep about 16 hours in every 24. Theyre programmed to sleep in short bursts of about 2-3 hours between feeds, night and day.
Also, newborns need to feed every 2-4 hours. And they need your attention during the day and night.
The first few months of your babys life is the time to get to know your baby, and learn about your babys needs for sleep, feeds, play and settling.
You might find that a very simple, flexible routine seems to help your baby, and helps you feel more in control. But this isnt the time to worry about getting your baby into any kind of rigid routine.
A good way to understand what your newborn is feeling and what they need is to pay attention to babys cues and body language. Responding to your babys needs helps baby feel secure and builds your relationship.
Newborn Baby Sleep And Feeding Schedule
by Emily DeJeuin Schedules Last Updated: November 24, 2021
When you understand your newborns sleep patterns and habits, you can start to establish a little more structure in your daily life and build a little more confidence in your decisions and actions during the babys first days.
While newborns cant stay on a strict sleep or feeding schedule mostly due to their many growth spurts in these early months these sample newborn sleep and feeding schedules can guide you through these stages and make sure everyone is getting the sleep and nutrition they need.
Otherwise, you may be soothing a crying baby all day.
A newborn baby cries a lot more when they are over-tired, not sleeping enough, or hungry. In other words, getting him or her on a routine can be a life-saver!
Your newborns feeding schedule should be age-appropriate, and you should never withhold food from a newborn just to stay on schedule. A newborn sleep schedule is also often based on how long your baby can stay awake , which is usually short in the newborn days.
Keep reading to discover what you can do to get started.
A baby is considered a newborn from birth until about 3 months of age.
During this period, your newborns sleep patterns will look nothing like yours.
Your baby will sleep in short bursts anywhere from 30 or 45 minutes to 3 or possibly 4 hours and then eat between periods of sleep.
Finger Foods And Table Foods
If you started your baby on purees, it can be an exciting time to introduce them to finger foods. Baby can share many of the same foods you and your family eat, but theyll need to be seasoned, cut, and cooked appropriately.
Use little to no salt and take care that the texture and shape of foods offered do not promote choking. By eight to nine months of age, babies are quite adept at grasping food and getting it to their mouths. They will likely enjoy feeding themselves.
Watch your baby carefully as you offer very small pieces of finger foods, avoiding choking hazards, such as whole grapes, raisins, raw vegetables, and large chunks of cheese. It’s also important to be caught up on baby CPR guidelines.
Good finger foods include:
- Cereal puffs made for babies
- Chopped cooked eggs
- Cut-up, cooked chicken, meat, and fish
- Diced cooked vegetables
- Small pieces of toasted whole-grain bread
- Slices of ripe fruit
- Toasted O-shaped cereal
Once your child has mastered eating finger foods, you might introduce a small utensil, along with mixed dishes, to their meals. You can also usually introduce yogurt at this age. By the end of their first year or the beginning of their second year, your baby will likely be eating much of the same food as the rest of the family.
Read Also: What To Do When Newborn Is Constipated
Here Are Some Tips To Help You Introduce A Bottle To Your Newborn Feeding Schedule:
Important note: Never warm a bottle of formula or human milk in the microwave. The bottle itself may feel cool while the liquid inside can be too hot. Microwaving also heats unevenly. Even though a few drops sprinkled on your wrist may feel OK, some of the formula or human milk may be scalding. The composition of human milk may change if it is warmed too much, as well.
Follow The Right Schedule
Puppies like human babies have little tummy space, so you will need to feed them often. While breed, size, weight, and other factors affect the number of food your puppy needs, you should always check a newborn puppy feeding chart for reference. Asking the question of how to take care of newborn puppies week by week is complicated because no two puppies are the same. However, looking at weekly changes can help you make the best decisions for your dog to remain healthy.
At birth till two weeks, everything is still hazy to them, and they need to feed often. However, bottle feeding puppies at two weeks and above do not need to be as frequent. The amount of food they get during these periods until the 8th week when they are young dogs varies based on their body weight and growth rate. Check here for more information on their growth.
If your dog needs to stay without a meal for long, the longest time it needs to stay hungry should be a maximum of eight hours. When the mother is present, newborns spend 90 percent of their time sleeping and the other 10 percent suckling on from their mothers.
Also Check: How Much Does A Newborn Drink Per Feed
How To Soothe A Fussy Baby
There are many tricks other than feeding you can try to soothe a fussy baby. Some babies may be soothed by the same method every time. For other babies, what worked yesterday, or even earlier in the same day, may no longer work. Feel free to experiment with these or other ideas:
- Wrap baby in a swaddle to help recreate the experiences from the womb.
- Offer a pacifier.
To 5 Months Old Feeding Schedule: Pre
Solid meals: None until showing all signs of readiness.
Baby is likely bottle-feeding six to eight times per day, with most still taking one or more bottles during the night. Structure the day with baby to introduce the idea of food, eating, and family mealtimeseven before starting solids. There is no need to implement a firm schedule however, a flexible but consistent daily routine is helpful for both baby and parents. Baby is likely awake for about 1.5 hours at a time and many babies will nap three or four times a day.
Note: Some infants may drink more than the range shown above, especially during growth spurts. Some infants may drink less. As long as baby is growing appropriately, there is no need to worry about volume.
Ideas to Help Prepare Baby for Solids:
- Bring baby to the table while you eat. Bring baby near the table while you eat, and if you like, sit baby on your lap during the meal. Let them smell the food and drinks, watch you bring food to your mouth, and talk about the meal. Baby may show some interest in tasting what youre eating. If your babys doctor has given you the green light, you might consider sharing small tastes of fresh foods for baby to lick. Avoid chunks of food or food bites that need chewingat these young ages, opt for small tastes that are easily swallowed with saliva.
Read Also: How Many Ounces For Newborn
Working With Newborn Feeding Schedules
Newborns feed very, very frequently, but this isnt a problem that needs to be solved.
Its perfectly natural!
Your newborns tummy is quite small. They simply need to fill it up regularly.
Formula-fed newborns may need to eat slightly less often than breastfed newborns because it takes a newborns tummy longer to digest and break down formula.
So babies tend to feel fuller for longer periods of time. Breast milk, on the other hand, is digested fairly quickly.
How much breastmilk or formula does your baby need?
Every situation is different, of course, but if your baby is formula-fed, you can use a fairly simple formula to determine approximately how many ounces your baby needs in a day.
Simply multiply your babys weight by 2.5.
For example, an 8-pound baby would need about 20 ounces of formula in a 24-hour period.
If your baby is breastfed, the general rule is that most newborns need between 20 and 30 ounces of breastmilk .
How often should you feed your baby?
In general, if you are exclusively nursing, its best to nurse on demand in the first few weeks after birth to ensure that your milk supply becomes well-established. In fact, in order to maintain your supply, youll need to nurse every 2 to 3 hours, on average.
Once your baby is past 3 months of age and is in the infant stage, that will slowly stretch into 5-6 hours, and then 7-8, and eventually right up to 10 or 11 hours once your baby is 9 months old or 10 months old.
Baby Feeding Schedule 1 To 12 Month
0 to 4 Months Baby Feeding Schedule
Signs of Hunger
Displays rooting reflex. Turns head inward searching for nipple.
Foods to Introduce
Formula or breast milk ONLY
Amount of Feeding
Newborns need to be feed on demand by breastfeeding and every few hours by formula feeding.
Stick to only Breast milk or formula at this time. Your babys tummy wont be able to digest solid foods until after the 4 month mark.
Watch a video for more tips on formula feeding schedule for 1-4 month baby:
4 to 6 Months Baby Feeding Schedule
When you introduce new foods to your baby, it can pretty much be in any order. Cereal is normally given before anything else in the U.S., but there is no problem with giving strained vegetables or fruit first. You can even start a little tofu as early as 6 months.
Watch a video for more tips on breastfeeding schedule for 4-6 month baby:
Watch a video for more tips on formula feeding schedule for 4-6 month baby:
Recommended Reading: Why Newborn Cry At Night
Guide For Formula Feeding
- When breast milk is not available, standard infant formula is an appropriate alternative for most healthy full term infants, but there are some differences between brands. Do not hesitate to ask your health care provider for a recommendation if you are unsure which formula to use.
- Bottle-feeding should be interactive, with the caregiver holding both the bottle and the infant. Propping a bottle has been linked to an increased risk of ear infections and tooth decay.
- Formula feeding should be in response to the infants needs and not based on a predetermined schedule. Look for cues of hunger and fullness to determine both when to feed and how much. The number of wet diapers per day and your childs growth will reflect if he or she is getting enough formula. The chart below demonstrates common intakes for infants at various stages. However, ask your health care provider if you have any questions about how much formula your infant is taking.
- The amount of formula an infant takes will decrease as the baby increases intake of solid foods, but formula remains a significant source of calories, protein, calcium and vitamin D for the first year of life.
- Ask your health care provider before switching an infant less than 1 year of age from formula to cows milk or a cows milk alternative.
Month Old Breastfed Baby
- 7 a.m. Breastfeed on both breasts
- 7:30 a.m. 2 to 4 tablespoons of cereal mixed with breast milk or formula
- 9:30 a.m. Morning nap
- 11:30 a.m. Breastfeed on both breasts
- 12 p.m. Offer a vegetable or fruit option
- 2 p.m. Afternoon nap
- 4 p.m. Breastfeed on both breasts
- 5:30 p.m. Offer a protein option
- 7 p.m. Breastfeed on both breasts
Also Check: How To Give A Milk Bath For Newborn Baby
How To Introduce Potential Food Allergies
Around the time your baby starts solids, you need to begin introducing common allergens like peanut, egg, and shellfish. Food allergies have more than doubled over the last generation from 1999 to 2018, which is about 8% of US kids.
The latest USDA guidelines recommend introducing potential food allergens as soon as we start solids, or around 4-6 months of age, as early and regular introduction has been found to lower the potential for developing a food allergy.
Heres the latest info in the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025:
Potentially allergenic foods should be introduced when other complementary foods are introduced to an infants diet. Introducing peanut-containing foods in the first year reduces the risk that an infant will develop a food allergy to peanuts.
If you have an infant whos at higher risk of a peanut allergy, the recommendation from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease is to introduce it between 4-6 months as research has found that can reduce the risk of developing a peanut allergy. Check in with your pediatrician for specific guidance.
TIP: Not all food allergies are preventable, but early introduction can help reduce the risk.
Does The Family Ever Get To See The Newborn On This Routine
In a word: no.
Not really anyway.
My family always jokes, When are you going to let the baby come out of its room? and I reply smiling, In a month or two! 🙂
Aside from the germs aspect, babies can be overstimulated very easily.
People who are far removed from the baby world think its normal to talk very very loudly and try to wake the baby up to see the color of its eyes.
Its like I mean just no.
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